I’ve had a busy couple of months since signing with my agent.
I have recently signed a book deal for my second psychological thriller, provisionally called The Wedding Guest. If all goes to plan, book two will be published by One More Chapter in April 2022.
Local journalist Libby is a plus-one at a celebrity wedding at a grand manor house in rural North Yorkshire. She’s the guest of her boyfriend, Matthew, who used to be in a Britpop band in the 90s. It’s the first time the band members have been reunited since the band split up and she quickly discovers that they have something to hide…
I’m really looking forward to launching Libby into the world! This book was a lot of fun to research and write.
At the moment I am doing my structural edits. These are big changes that the editor suggests in order to make sure the story works. They’re a little tricky, as you have to check that when you change something in chapter 20, it doesn’t impact on something in chapter 47. There is a lot of ‘find and replace’ going on! The plan is to complete these edits by the end of May.
I have also been working on a follow-up to this book. It’s early days and I have just done an outline, a bit of preliminary research and written about 3,000 words. This means I have put aside the other novel I was working on for the time being. At some point I am hoping to pick it back up and work on them both simultaneously but I’m not sure if my brain can handle that…
Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash
In February 2021 I read:
- Somewhere Close to Happy by Lia Louis
- If I Can’t Have You by Charlotte Levin
- The 24-hour Café by Libby Page
- A Single Thread by Tracy Chevalier
- Girl at Christmas by Rhoda Baxter
- Money: A User’s Guide by Laura Whateley (non-fiction)
- The Big Four (Hercule Poirot #5) by Agatha Christie
- The Choice by Alex Lake
- All my Lies by Sophie Flynn (proof – to be published in April 2021)
- The Success Code by Amanda Dewinter (non-fiction)
The stand-out title for me was A Single Thread by Tracy Chevalier, one of my favourite writers. Chevalier can make just about any subject fascinating, so although bell ringing and embroidery are by no means my favourite things, I found myself drawn into this world. The novel is set in 1932 and I really enjoyed reading about that period and the expectations of women and their roles in society between the two world wars.
All My Lies was a proof, kindly sent out in advance of the publication date of April 2021. A psychological suspense, set in Oxford and Cornwall, I really enjoyed this debut novel. Great characters, evocative writing, interesting locations and a page-turning plot with plenty of twists and turns.
The Agatha Christie was not for me. I found the premise completely ridiculous to be honest!
The other stand-out title for me was The Success Code by Amanda Dewinter. I found it quite inspiring and a practical approach to defining your goals and working towards them. I particularly liked the emphasis on self-care and looking after yourself so that you don’t burn out.
In March, I am planning to read:
- The Last Snow by Stina Jackson
- The Chain by Adrian McKinty
- How to Disappear by Gillian McAllister
- The Hit List by Holly Seddon
- Someone We Know by Shari Lapena
Have you read any of these? What did you think of them?